Can you think of a day that changed your way of thinking, your attitudes and experiences? What happened, and what did it do to you?
O'Hara's, the Irish pub close to where the Twin Towers stood as an important milestone in New York's history, had such a day on September 11, 2001. The manager and the staff came to work in the morning, totally unaware of the dramatic events that were about to take place. In the following interview with the manager of O'Hara's Bar, we learn about actions taken, emotions and reactions when a close neighbor suddenly disappears in such a tragic way.
- Locate O'Hara's in New York here: Bar on Ground Zero. Which streets, places and buildings do you recognize in the bar's neighborhood? What kind of district is this? Note down and compare.
- Before you listen to the interview (ab.12 min.), have a look at the words and expressions below. While you are listening, note down in which contexts these words and expressions are used. Compare your notes with one or two of your fellow students, and see if you have made the same observations.
- the crane broke
- 16 acres
- The North Tower
- Wall Street
- The Pentagon
- construction site
- blue collar
Listen to the Interview
- in class or in groups:
- How did the character of O'Hara's Bar change?
- What influence did 9/11 have on the new identity?
- The manager describes his reactions. Do you think you would have reacted in a similar way?
- If you were to interview the manager, what would you have asked him about?
- Can you think of any other dramatic incidents internationally that might have changed a neighborhood in a similar way?
The following task will give you more experience in listening carefully, observing closely, comparing and contrasting.
Listen to the audio recording again, and then watch and listen to this YouTube clip with the manager of O'Hara's The Neighbor That Disappeared
How does the YouTube clip differ from the audio recording when it comes to what is being presented, and how? In what ways do they complement each other? Which presentation was most useful for you? Give reasons.
Make a survey in class: How many prefer the audio and how many prefer the YouTube clip? Discuss your findings in class.
Write 1 - 2 pages on one of the following topics:
- What are typical panic reactions, and why do these happen? Give examples.
- Describe how the delayed effect of a crisis might influence a person emotionally and psychologically? Give specific examples.
- Pretend that you were one of O'Hara's staff, working there on 9/11, 2001. Write a report for a newspaper where you include the actual incidents seen from the bar.
- Pretend that you were one of O'Hara's staff, working there on 9/11, 2001. Write a blog text, about the day and your experiences, where you describe and evaluate your own reactions and emotions.
Make a Scrapbook
In O'Hara's Bar there is a thick scrapbook that the manager collected and organized after 9/11, including photographs, newspaper texts and personal reflections.
Make your own scrapbook from 9/11, 2001 and the period after. Find material on the web, and print out pictures and clippings from texts. Before you start, discuss in groups what you think might be important to include in your scrap book. Put your scrap book on display where it is accessible for other students.